A swing is a fun addition to any backyard, but if you want to hang one from your pergola, you might be wondering if it can support the weight without crashing down on you. Can the average pergola actually support a swing?
Standard pergolas are made to support up to 300 pounds, the standard weight limit for many bench swings. However, not all pergolas have the structure to support a swing and the weight of people on it. You should check the structure of your pergola before attempting to hang a swing from it.
If you’re not sure whether your pergola can support a swing, don’t fret. In this blog post, we will cover weight concerns, what gives a pergola more support, and how to build a sturdy pergola with a swing. Let’s get started!
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Many options and designs are available for putting up a pergola with a swing in your yard. For example, you can buy kits for a pergola swing duo or build your pergola and hang a swing on it as long as it’s sturdy.
Here are our favorite choices from Amazon:
1. Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola: This pre-stained solid cedar wood pergola is naturally resistant to decay. It’s heavy-duty and can withstand 100 mph winds! Plus, it has a charging station for the grill, outside lights, and more!
2. Backyard Discovery White Steel Pergola: This pergola is made of galvanized steel treated to be rust resistant and requires zero maintenance. It’s heavy duty and can withstand up to 100 mph winds!
3. POLYWOOD Bench Swing: This bench swing is made with plywood lumber which is weatherproof against coastal winds and snow. It’s 63 pounds and 60 inches wide. Additionally, it’s comfortable and easy to assemble.
Pergolas and Swings
When pairing a pergola with a swing, there are many options and things to consider.
In this section, we go over whether any pergola can support a swing, how much weight a pergola can hold, and what a pergola needs to support a swing.
Can a Pergola Support a Swing?
A standard pergola can hold up to 300 pounds, the standard weight a two-seat swing can hold. However, some pergolas are not meant to hold any weight and are solely for shade or for plants to grow on.
There are many benefits to having any pergola in your yard, even without a swing. First, they add extra space that is shaded that extends the area for backyard entertaining.
Additionally, they blend well with most landscapes because they are often made with natural materials or can be painted to match the landscape.
What Kind of Swing is Best for a Pergola?
Any swing will work with a pergola as long as the pergola can hold the weight of the swing and the people planning on using the swing. The standard pergola can hold 300 pounds which is often how much a two-person swing bench can hold.
If your pergola is smaller, you can use a one-person swing or a hammock.
Also, if your pergola is not stable when you try to move it back and forth, fortify its anchors to give it the support it needs to hold more weight and allow for the movement of the swing.
How Much Weight Can a Pergola Hold?
A standard pergola holds about 300 lbs. However, you will need to contact the manufacturer for the weight capacity of your specific pergola. Some pergolas are more for shade only.
If your pergola is made of solid cedar wood and anchored well, it should hold at least 300 pounds. You can test its strength by applying pressure and wiggling it back and forth.
If it moves with very little pressure, it is not anchored well, but if it stands motionless against your efforts to move it, it should be able to support at least 300 pounds.
Can You Hang a Seat from a Pergola?
You can hang a seat from most pergolas. However, some pergolas will not support the weight of a swing plus the weight of a person or people swinging on it. However, if the pergola is made with many sturdy beams, it will likely hold the extra weight.
There are many seat and swing options you can add to a pergola. For example, there are seats made with light rope.
Remember, the pergola may support the seat, but when someone sits in the swing, it may not support the extra weight. So always test its durability first.
Can You Hang a Swing Seat in a Pergola?
Swing seats are often used hung under a porch or pergola. The main concern with hanging a swing is if there is a support beam, it can hang on, which will hold its weight and the weight of anyone sitting on it.
If your pergola is older or not made to hold weight, you can buy a different swing with a canopy. Also, you can place a bench or hammock on a stand under an existing pergola.
There are even benches that rock back and forth, much like a swing.
In this how-to section, we will take you step by step on how to make a pergola suitable for a swing and how to build a pergola with a swing from scratch.
We will also go over different options for pergolas and swings.
How Do You Reinforce a Pergola for a Swing?
Look at the pergola to see what structural issues there are. If the wood is beginning to rot, you will need to replace the rotting beams. If the pergola is in good shape but is supported by a small beam, you can add thick wood blocks to hang the swing from.
Add support on the bottom of the pergola to keep it from wobbling or turning over while swinging on it.
You can add a vertical post to frame around the bottom and hold the leg steady. You can hold the posts together using sturdy steel brackets.
How to Hang a Swing from a Pergola Beam?
There are many ways to hang a swing from a pergola beam. Two simple ways are to add blocks of wood between two beams or bolt down blocks of wood on top of a beam and screw the swing’s hardware into the block using 3/8 x 5’’ spax screws.
You can also hang a swing using the pergola beam already in place to secure the swing too. You can use a mounting kit, hang the swing by looping the chain, or rope securely around the beam.
However, be sure the pergola can support the weight of the swing and those who plan to use it.
How Do You Build a Swing in a Pergola?
You can either build your own swing and use rope, use a chain with hardware to hang it, or buy a swing already made and hang it with the hardware provided. If the pergola needs more support to hold the swing, you can add a support beam or blocks.
Anchors are important for a pergola’s structural support. If the pergola is in the ground but still swaying, dig it down at least 4 feet, then add gravel and cement.
If the pergola is on a deck, or patio, use sturdy aluminum or steel anchor base on each beam.
How Do You Build a Wooden Pergola Swing?
To build a simple wooden pergola with a bench swing, you will need two six-by-six cedar posts, two two-by-eight cedar beams, three two-by-six cedar boards, two cedar blocks, standard screws, 3/8 x 5’’ spax screws, gravel, and cement.
You can also make the swing or buy one that comes with the chain and hardware.
Here are the steps for the pergola below:
- Measure your swing plus 11’’ on both sides of the swing for the width of the pergola.
- Dig two holes four feet deep for the two six-by-six cedar posts. Both posts will be parallel and have the width of the pergola between them.
- Place the posts into the holes and fill the holes with gravel, then cover the gravel with cement.
- Decide how high you want your pergola to be based on the swing height and how high you want the swing off the ground. You may also want to consider that increasing the height will allow the swing to swing further with each swing. Of course, you can always adjust the swing’s chain to accommodate leg length. Then cut the posts down to that height.
- Cut your two-by-eight beams down to the width of the outside measurement of the six-by-six posts and screw them to the top of your posts horizontally on both sides of the posts so that they face each other. Ensure they are level and reinforce the screws by adding 3/8 x 5’’ spax screws.
- Cut and style your boards to fit and screw across the top beams to add shade over your swing. The more boards across you have, the more shade you will have.
- Screw the blocks between the beams with 3/8 x 5’’ spax screws.
- You can hang your swing by screwing the swing’s hardware into the two blocks.
How Do You Build a Pergola Swing?
You can purchase a pergola swing kit to build and use the kit’s instructions, or you can design and build one yourself. The best materials are aluminum or cedar beams and posts.
You can also buy a swing and make the pergola, or use a pergola you already have and add a swing. Before you add a swing, make sure it is sturdy to hold the swing and the people on it.
Then, you can see if it moves when you try to move it.
Weight and Height Concerns
When adding a swing to a pergola, you want to know if it weighs too much for the structure to handle and if the pergola is high enough.
In this section, we will cover weight and height standards and preferences.
How Tall Should a Pergola Swing Be?
When hung under a pergola, the swing should be at least 17 inches from the ground. It should also have at least two feet of arch behind and in front of the swing. It can be hung by a chain or rope to adjust the swing height.
If you are putting up a swing for children, you can put the swing 24 inches off the ground for babies and toddlers needing assistance.
Preschool-age children need a swing 12 inches off the ground, and school-age children need at least 16 inches off the ground.
How Heavy Can a Pergola Swing Be?
Most two-person swings are made to hold 300 pounds. How much weight a pergola can hold will depend on how it is made. A sturdy pergola will need anchors that have it to where the structure will not wiggle when you try one of its posts back and forth.
You will want to make the pergola out of sturdy material as well. For example, thick cedar beams work well, and steel or heavy-duty plywood works well.
You can also use an aluminum material that is weatherproof, rust-resistant, and can withstand 150 mph winds!
How Much Weight Can You Hang in a Pergola?
Most standard pergolas can hold 300 pounds or more, which is the standard weight a swing can hold. However, many pergolas can hold much more, especially those made of cedar, steel, or heavy-duty aluminum.
Many manufacturers know customers like hanging swings in pergolas and will say on their website what weight the pergola can hold.
If not, you can contact them and ask or test the stability of the pergola yourself.
Can You Reinforce a Pergola to Hang a Swing?
You can reinforce a pergola to hang a swing. You can reinforce the anchors by adding weight to the base of the pergola or digging four-foot holes to place the pergola’s posts. Also, you can add a support beam on top of the pergola.
Another way to add a swing and some added support is to use 3/8 x 5’’ spax screws instead of regular screws in the support beams.
You can also add wood blocks with spax screws within the beams or on top of the beams to add the swing.
How Much Weight Can a Pergola Swing Hold?
Most two-seat swing benches can hold up to 300 pounds. This also depends on the chain or rope that’s holding it. Check the weight limit on both the swing and the chain for its weight limits.
The pergola can support the weight of the swing and the people if it is made of sturdy material, like cedar, plywood, steel, or heavy-duty aluminum.
You must also anchor the pergola well in steel brackets or concrete.
Building and Plans
There is a ready-made pergola with swing kits you can order and assemble, or you can build one yourself with your or someone else’s design. In this section, we will go over those options.
Are There Plans for a Pergola With a Swing?
There are already plenty of building plans to build a pergola with a swing, and there are ready-made kits with pre-cut pieces and hardware to build a pergola with a swing. You can also hire a landscaper or an architect to help you design something new.
Pergola swings have been popular for a while, but it is expected they will stay popular this year as well. This means you may begin to see them more often in stores.
How Do You Make a Pergola Swing?
You can design a pergola swing yourself. It can stretch across a deck, and you can hang multiple swings or different kinds of swings, like hammocks or swing beds.
You can also hire a professional to build it. Sometimes, building contractors or landscapers will build them, or they will know who will build and design a pergola in your area.
If you build it yourself, have a contractor from your city inspect it to ensure it’s safe.
How Do You Make a Frame for a Pergola Swing?
First, you will need the pergola posts to make the frame. You will want to dig them four feet into the ground. The area between the posts will be your parameter. You can buy wood, steel, aluminum, or plywood to make your pergola swing frame.
After the posts are your support beams, which can be more posts that fit perpendicular to the anchored posts in steel or aluminum brackets, or they can be beams screwed into the sides at the top of the posts.
Use 3/8 x 5’’ spax screws if you are screwing them in.
You might also enjoy our post on Do Pergolas Need to Be Anchored?
Can You Hang a Hammock in a Pergola?
To hang a hammock in a pergola, you will need to check the sturdiness of the pergola. Make sure it does not wiggle when you try to shake it back and forth, and make sure it will hold the weight of one or two people that will use the hammock.
You can also buy a hammock that stays on a stand and set it under the pergola rather than hang it on the pergola.
This way, you will not have to worry about whether or not the extra weight will be too much.
Can You Hang a Swing Bed from a Pergola?
You can hang a swing bed from a pergola, but you will need to test the pergola. If the anchors are sturdy enough, when you try to move them, they will not budge. You can also hang weights on the pergola; if the pergola beams bow any, it cannot hold that weight.
You can hang up full beds on large pergolas, but if you have a small pergola, try a one-person swing bed.
You can also get a hammock or swing bed on a stand to place under the pergola rather than hang it from it.
How Do I Stop my Pergola from Wobbling?
Most likely, your pergola is wobbling because it is not properly anchored. You can secure the beams or poles of the pergola by digging them into the earth and covering the hole in cement. You can also use steel brackets.
If your pergola is anchored well, but the beams tend to shift, you may need to replace the beams with new and more sturdy beams.
The pergolas may have rotten old wood beams inside, or it is warped from snow or rain.
A pergola and swing can add so much to your backyard. It can create a pleasant space outside to enjoy your yard more during those hot and sunny days.
So, we hope this article helps you choose a pergola and swing that blends well with your landscaping.